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The establishment of Coppice Research in 2014 marked my decision to focus on audience research and to work with colleagues and organisations who want to use this knowledge in their creative work or business services. Applying audience research to visitors in cultural institutions is also an abiding passion of mine.
I have founded businesses previously, to provide the context for designing research on audiences. As Audience Views, in 1978, I began doing audience testing and formative research of television programs and pilots for ABC Television and Network Ten. Most of these were children’s programming using observation, interviews and surveys in the fieldwork and reporting children’s comments and drawings. I worked with program makers to interpret results and refine contents for particular age groups.
My first academic research was conducted with teenage girls and is reported in Girls and Television. While living in the US in 1980-1981, I worked part time at the Yale Family Television Research and Consultation Centre. It gave me the confidence to design a major ethnographic study of children’s interactions with TV in their family context. Finding support through Professor Henry Mayer at Sydney University and Network Nine I conducted this research. It was published as The Lively Audience,1986.
My career has included university teaching at the universities of New South Wales, Canberra and Newcastle as well as RMIT University, Melbourne. I specialised in teaching Research Methods and Audience Studies, often supervising the conduct and reporting of a professional television ratings survey as part of the coursework.
I was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 2001 and worked within the Web Team at Washington’s National Museum of American History, developing new techniques in the challenging research for a website of 400 objects, www.historywired.si.edu.
The extensive research conducted by parent company User Insite Pty Ltd is described in Coppice Research’s Capability Statement.
I am again collaborating with colleagues who seek innovative solutions and an evidence base for their creative work and communication. I am a member of the Design Kind Collective, contributing research techniques that inform a Service Design Methodology. I am also co-ordinating a volunteer Birdwood Heritage Committee at Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle.
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